Run 4 the sea – kids race,
My oldest son John is 4. He has become really enthusiastic about my running lately since he has been watching me running. He loves my running shoes sitting by the door and is always interested where I was running and what I have seen during my runs. He always wants to know if he could join for a run. Sometimes I take him for some practice outside and I see how enthusiastic he is. When I saw the ad for the Run 4 the sea- kids race in Jupiter on June 2oth I didn’t hesitate to sign him up.
I thought a kids race is the perfect fun factor to get him more excited about running. It was the run for the Loggerhead Marine Life Center, a rehabilitation center for sea turtles at Juno Beach, FL. My kids call it the Turtle Hospital (I will blog about this wonderful institution in the next coming days). Needless to say that my son loved the idea to race for his beloved sea turtles to make a difference in their lives. The kids run was one mile. I was pretty sure he could do it. He always talks about how much he would love to join me on a run and I figured this would be the perfect opportunity for me and him to have our first running experience together.
I purchased the Run 4 the sea – kids race ticket 2 weeks before the race.
I knew I had to train him a little bit before hand. It wasn’t so much that I needed him to finish, but I knew he would be so disappointed if he wasn’t able to finish.
Our local playground has a small running track in the back. Whenever we went to the playground I asked John if he felt like practicing for the race and he always enthusiastically agreed. He usually ran two loops, about half a mile. My 2 tear old son and I loved playing audience and cheering him on. It was always fun! I knew that he would be able to finish the 1 mile race after watching him running on the track for about 1/2 mile and sometimes 3/4 of a mile. On Race Day, he was a bit nervous when he saw all the other kids during line-up. I told him not to worry and not to go out too strong in the beginning, otherwise he might not be able to finish. I reminded him to focus only on himself and not worry how fast the other kids were running. He took it easy in the beginning and was able to pick up the pace in the second half. It was really beautiful to watch. It meant more to me than my own runs. I will never forget his beaming smile when he approached the finishing line and grabbed his metal. I was so proud of him. He was so proud of himself. John had a really good time and I saw how great he felt about his accomplishment. He ran so well, without stopping for a second.
I really believe that running can give a young child such a positive outlook. It makes you believe in yourself no matter how young you are and provides a strong base for a healthy lifestyle and even a wonderful basis for all other sports. I wished someone would have taught me running at a young age. 32 years of my life I thought I couldn’t run longer than a block. Knowing now of running at such a young age does something wonderful for little self-esteems.